How to Get your Baby to Sleep through the Night

Motherhood

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This is the topic I get the most questions on when talking to other mamas. I don’t consider myself an expert in sleep training, but since London has been sleeping through the night since she was 5 months old, I’ve picked up a few tricks of the trade. 

1. Get your baby on a consistent schedule

This is helpful for life in general. When you have a routine, even if it’s just a morning and bedtime routine, your baby knows what’s coming and responds more positively because it’s familiar to them. I read Babywise, and while I didn’t follow it completely, I used it as a backbone to creating my schedule with London. (If you’re interested in what that looks like, keep an eye out for a new post coming!) And if you’re the type B person that hates planning everything out, no worries. At least create a short bedtime routine that you can commit to doing with your baby on a nightly basis. It can be as short as singing a song and tucking them in. Anything that will let them know it’s time for bed. 

2. Move your baby to their room

This is my biggest tip for getting your baby to sleep through the night. You’ve gotta cut the cord, mama. It wasn’t until we listened to our pediatrician and moved london to her room that we finally got a good night’s rest. And we were amazed because she did too! It’ll feel weird at first and you’ll probably be awake staring at the monitor the entire first night. But once you get through that initial sad moment, you’ll be happier to get some sleep. 

3. If you don’t want them to cry, don’t let them cry

I think this is a common misconception when it comes to sleep training. People think sleep training means you have to let your baby “cry it out”. This isn’t true, however! If you’re totally against the cry it out method, you can definitely still sleep train, it will just take a little longer. This is what we chose to do, because I couldn’t handle hearing London cry for hours! The key is to put your baby down to bed when they’re drowsy, but still awake. I would wait until she was dozing off in my arms, then gently put her down and leave the room. If they start to cry, gently soothe them, and repeat as often as needed. It may take a while, but the crying should become shorter and shorter until they eventually fall asleep. By the third night, she was going to sleep without crying at all!

4. Experiment with bedtimes

You know the saying- every baby is different. Some people will tell you you’re crazy if your baby is awake past 7:00pm, while others will insist you should keep them up until 11:00pm. As with everything, you’ll have to experiment to see what works best for you and your babe.

For me personally, I like to have some time to myself in the morning to clean, make phone calls, etc. So I knew I didn’t want London to wake up at the crack of dawn. We started with a 9:30pm bedtime and she would sleep through the night until about 8:30am. This worked great for us! As she got a little older, we had to make a few adjustments because we noticed her getting sleepy earlier. So now she goes to bed at 8:30pm and wakes at about 8am. It’s all about paying attention to your child’s needs and what seems to make them happy, then going from there.

On that same note, before you try to sleep train your little one, make sure they’re ready for that step. If your baby is under 4 months and still needing those nighttime feedings, definitely wait until they are no longer dependent on that. I know it feels like those 3am nursing sessions will never end, but they will. Don’t rush it, mama! I hope these tips help when the time is right.

Surviving the Newborn Stage

Motherhood

Bringing our first child home from the hospital was probably the most exciting and nerve-wracking feeling I’ve ever felt. And now that she is 4.5 months old, I can actually say: WE DID IT. We survived. And it was harder than anyone ever told me it would be!

Not much will make it feel easy perse, but I do have some trips that might help out if you feel like you’re drowning in helplessness!

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1. People will offer help. SAY YES

You know how you normally decline help in effort to be polite? Don’t do that! Having a baby is hard in so many ways and good people that understand that want to help you. We had neighbors dropping off take out, friends taking our dog out while we were in the hospital, and of course people bringing an endless supply of diapers. It was SO nice to not have to worry about those sort of things while I was healing and bonding with our new baby. 10/10 would recommend!

2. Take turns being on baby duty

I feel like I will get some criticism for this because a lot of people believe the mom should do everything for the baby (*eye roll*). However, this worked wonders for me and Q. London would not sleep AT ALL at night for the first month and saying it was exhausting is a major understatement. We came up with a plan to split the night in half: he would stay up from 12am-4am and I would be up with her from 4am-8am. This way we would at least get 4 hours of sleep a night. Of course this only works if you are pumping or formula feeding, but I am all for giving dad some breastmilk in a bottle and giving him the chance to bond too!

3. Keep notes with any important information

I’m not sure if this applies to everyone, but our babe had some eating issues in the beginning. Every time we visited the pediatrician, we were given a ton of new information and tips on what we should try/not try. It was overwhelming trying to remember everything. I started a note on my phone and eventually put it up on the fridge, that way I didn’t have the added pressure of memorizing everything. Learning how to take care of a new baby was enough and I didn’t need the extra work.

4. Find joy in the little accomplishments

If you’re anything like me, you’re gonna want to be a natural at being a parent and expect everything to come easily. It most likely won’t (and if it does, I envy you). Don’t try to tackle on too much in one day. I remember the first time I took London out of the house by myself. I literally just walked down the street to the grocery store. But I felt so accomplished and so much more confident in my new role. So take pride in those little moments and trust that soon enough, you’ll be nursing on a plane, pumping the other side, and eating lunch all at the same time (true story. lol)

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At the end of the day, you’re going to find out what works for you and your family, despite all of the advice people will try to give you. Just smile and nod so that they can end their rant about why you should use one brand over another and keep doing you! xx

 

Embracing the “Mom Bod”

Fashion

It’s been 10 weeks since I gave birth. The initial weight loss that happens after delivering your baby has long gone and I’ve hit the “now you actually have to exercise” phase of my postpartum journey. And boy, it hasn’t been easy.

I was the girl who ate anything and everything while I was pregnant. I told myself that it’s my first time and I could just lose the weight later. I didn’t factor in that it would take 8 weeks to finally feel recovered enough to exercise. Or that I would be busy taking care of a newborn. Or that I would just be too tired some days to even think about going to the gym. So I had a rude awakening 2 weeks ago when I stepped on the scale and realized those last 22 pounds weren’t going to come off on their own.

Maybe it was that moment, or the fact that I literally can only fit into stretchy pants, but I realized that I desperately needed to lose weight for the sake of my self esteem. I had reached a point that I dreaded getting dressed for an event because I knew how many outfits I would try on and how many things wouldn’t fit. I would end up in a bad mood (and late) every time I would go somewhere. It was Q who finally convinced me that what I needed was a shopping trip. And he was right! I know I want to lose weight and I know I won’t be this size forever, but I also need to be patient with myself. My body birthed a whole human and it’s going to take some time to get back to normal. I need to be able to keep loving myself and loving my body, no matter what number ends up being on that  scale. I’m writing this post as a reminder to myself, and a reminder to you as well, because we all can use a little more self-love. So we went shopping (he even came with me!) and then had a little photo shoot to celebrate.

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5 Things That Happen When You Become a Parent

Motherhood

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Just like with pregnancy, there are a lot of changes that happen when you become a parent that no one really prepares you for. You leave the hospital with a tiny human and quickly realize your world is now completely about them. But there’s more. 

1. You’re now a “mom driver”.

B6B192AD-0895-4CC9-977F-9F02872F200C.gifEvery other car on the freeway becomes your enemy and you purposely drive in front of the worst ones so they can see your “baby on board” sticker. 

 

2. “Sleeping in” is waking up anytime after 5am.

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Even on nights when you’re baby-free, your body just isn’t used to sleeping until noon anymore.

 

3. Your kid is usually dressed better than you.

6119D10C-840F-4140-8EDE-B021482A86FA.gifThere just isn’t enough time in the mornings for both of us to look our best, so I take one for the team.

 

4. You talk about your kids nonstop.

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Every conversation starts with “we’re new parents” or “do you have kids?”

 

5. Going out just isn’t the same anymore.

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You get a babysitter and decide to take on the town, but quickly realize that you’d much rather be at home, snuggled with your little one, singing the itsy bitsy spider 99,000 times. And I guess that’s parenthood 🤷🏽‍♀️

Bumpdate: First Trimester

Motherhood

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If you’re reading this, it’s because I made it through one of the darkest and scariest times of a woman’s life-the first trimester. (Dun dun duuuuun). Let me take you back to the moment I found out I was pregnant. I had been on birth control for 6+ years and my fiancé and I were not planning to start a family for at least another 2 years.  So to say I was “surprised” is an understatement. I went through the typical stages post-peeing on a stick time: shock at those two life-altering lines, panic of how I’m going to have a baby and plan a wedding at the same time, and then the inevitable excitement of becoming a “mommy”. All of this followed by rapid google searching, since of course, I realized I had no idea what I was doing. The google searching ended up being a HORRIBLE idea. I read story to story of miscarriages, MISSED miscarriages, blighted ovums (WHAT), etc. By the end of the day, I was convinced something terrible was going to happen to my baby.

It’s a scary thing to be growing a tiny human inside of you not be able to peek in and make sure little one is doing okay. I was forced to breathe, stay positive, remind myself to trust my body, and most importantly- stay off baby forums. I remember thinking “how can I care about something so much, that I didn’t even realize I wanted more than a few weeks ago?” Needless to say, I was relieved when I hit the glorious 12 week mark. Of course, the worrying didn’t completely stop then, but it was a milestone I was happy to cross, as the chances of something going wrong decreased significantly. For the most part, 12 weeks also marked the end of the less-than-enjoyable symptoms that come along with pregnancy: nausea, fatigue, constipation, etc. I finally felt that I could relax and start to enjoy the wonders of pregnancy, as I entered what people refer to as the “honeymoon” stage- the second trimester.